Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where are the famous people?

I’ve lived in Paris for a few years and I have yet to spot anyone famous (at least as far as I know). A couple of friends, however, have hit the celeb jackpot. The first had been in Paris less than two months, when she dined in a restaurant just a couple of tables away from Carlos Santana. Mr. Santana was apparently in the company of a couple of thin and significantly younger women. About a week later she spotted Benjamin whats-his-name, the supposed lover of the latest Mrs. Sarkozy.

Another friend almost ran into (literally) Carla Bruni herself a few weeks ago. Clearly I spend time in the non-celeb parts of town.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

This exchange took place today, in French, at the office.

Her: Is Friday the 13th unlucky in England?

Me: I don’t know, I’m not English.

Her: Where are you from?

Me: The US, I’m American.

Her: Oh, I couldn’t tell from your accent.

No tea for you

A colleague and I had lunch at a Thai restaurant that we go to quite often. On this day, the lady informed us that the tea machine was broken so there was no tea with lunch. Because the fixed-price lunch menu includes jasmine tea, my colleague politely asked if the price would be reduced. Since we were getting less, it made sense to us that we should pay less.

Rather than just saying, “no the price is the same” the lady went off and told us that everyone else in the restaurant agreed to pay the full price. As if that wasn’t enough, she then told us that the price was already cheap and asked how we expected her to pay taxes and pay the rent.

After the lady’s tired, my colleague and I agreed that we wouldn’t return to that restaurant any time soon, which is a shame because the food wasn’t bad.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Language influences how we see the world

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article on how the language we speak influences our point of view. Read it here .